Prof Chris Dye & Prof Salim Abdool Karim in conversation: 'The Great Health Dilemma: Is Prevention Better than Cure?'

19 May 2021

Portrait of Professor Christopher Dye

with Professor Christopher Dye
Former Visiting Fellow (2019-20)

Chris Dye began professional life as an ecologist in the UK, having been awarded degrees in biology (BA) from the University of York and zoology (DPhil) from the University of Oxford. After developing an interest in infectious diseases at Imperial C...

The benefits of prevention over cure are self-evident and yet we are reluctant to invest in staying healthy.

Resolution of this age-old dilemma begins with a timeless truth: the benefits of good health come at a cost; prevention is not better than cure at any price. That logic leads to the testable hypothesis that prevention should be favoured when an imminent, high-risk, high-impact hazard can be averted at relatively low cost.

Application of this idea helps to explain why cigarette smoking is still common place, why the world was not ready for the COVID-19 pandemic, why billions still do not have access to safe sanitation, and why the response to climate change has been so slow.

Join Professor Chris Dye, author of The Great Health Dilemma, and Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Director of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), as they discuss ways to invest more money and effort in health promotion and prevention around the world today.